Saint Anthony, Forestville

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Parish History

St. Anthony was founded in 1908.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the arrival of people seeking work in the local coal mines and limestone quarries in the late nineteenth century.  Beginning in 1906, a priest from Grove City began making periodic visits to Forestville to celebrate Mass.  At first, Mass was celebrated in private homes.  Later, an old school was shared with the local Methodist community for Sunday services.  The Catholics used the building Sunday mornings and the Methodists used it in the afternoons.

The next year, a committee of local Catholics was formed to pursue the building of a church for the community.  On October 24, 1907, they purchased land for a church and construction soon followed.  On June 14, 1908, the new church was dedicated. 

The parish was made a mission of St. Mary of the Assumption, Herman.  At first, a priest came from Herman once a month to celebrate Mass.  In 1919, the number of Masses were increased to twice a month.  A year later, a priest came to Forestville every Sunday and Holy Day.

In 1955, responsibility for the St. Anthony mission was reassigned to St. Peter, Slippery Rock.  Beginning in the 1960's, the parish began raising funds for a new church.  Ground for the new church was broken on June 22, 1971.  The last Mass in the old church was celebrated on April 2, 1972.  The old church was torn down shortly afterwards.  On May 28, 1972, the new church was dedicated.

As part of the diocesan reorganization and revitalization process, the decision was made in 1993 to suppress the parish and assign the congregation to St. Peter, Slippery Rock.  However, St. Anthony Church remains open and serves the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

First St. Anthony Church, 1937
Second St. Anthony Church, 2002
Interior of second church, 2002

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